Blake Snow

how blue chip companies tell better stories

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Tagged Published Works

Published works: March 2009

Excluding short news articles and blog posts:

Published works: February 2009

A trio of new stories for MSNBC and Venture Beat

For video game pessimists and number crunchers, my latest:

Beta is dead

I’ll let you in on a little secret: Beta, that silly subhead you see on so many websites, has been dead for quite some time. It just took a while before someone came out and said it. Here’s my latest from GigaOM, also syndicated on CNN/Fortune, entitled “Beta is dead”:

“Beta, as it pertains to web sites, has seen better days. Not long ago, saying the word as part of your web development cycle could help land venture capital even faster than claiming “community,” “paradigm shift” or “disruptive technology.” Now, the term is dissipated and confusing.

“While the specific origin of its use is unknown, beta as a tagline was popularized by a Google with the release of Google News in 2002, and later, Gmail in 2004. From there, startups quickly followed suit. By 2006, it seemed like every new web site was “in beta.” Continue reading…

See also:

MSNBC: Top 5 games to bailout 2009

For the nerds out there, my latest: “Your 401k is gone. The price of your home has crashed. Your paycheck is in doubt. Yeah, 2009 is shaping up to be a great year, thanks to the recession. But chin up, readers. With hard work, a little bit of luck, and a healthy dose of escapism, we’ll get through this. So when the going gets tough, look to these standout games to forget it all: the most anticipated video games of 2009.”

Continue reading at MSNBC…

Gamasutra: Sony’s Home – The Launch Aftermath

My latest: “PlayStation Home for the PlayStation 3 launched on Dec. 11, more than a year after the virtual world was first promised. The general online reaction to the free PS3 service? To put it lightly, boring, as shown by a scathing Penny Arcade cartoon on the service.

“So why would gamers, the overwhelming group of people buying the console, want to use it? “For the average gamer, it’s hard to meet other players,” says Jack Buser, who joined Sony eight months ago to become director of the new social community. “Home is a place where you can meet new friends, share interests, and play games. There are so many super cool people who own a PS3.”

Continue reading at Gamasutra…

MSNBC: Best Xbox 360 games of ’08

My latest: “First, the bad news. The dreaded “Red Ring of Death” continues to plague Xbox 360 owners. Some reports have put the failure rate of the console at one-third. It’s a bummer, because there are so many great games.

“The good news — provided you’re in the lucky majority with a valid warranty — was that 2008 was another great year for Xbox fans. Not as jam-packed as last year, mind you. But with improved reliability and a new low price of $199, there’s no reason to miss the top 10 Xbox 360 games of 2008.”

Continue reading at MSNBC…

Sore Thumbs: The trouble with game of the year awards

Here’s my latest nerd minutia article, on the subject of video game of the year awards: Since becoming a full-time critic three years ago, I’ve been involved in selecting several game of the year awards, the summa cum laude of video game honors.

As a newbie, I was surprised to learn that voters are rarely, if ever, required to play all nominees before casting final ballots. Rather, a group of judges throws their favorites into a hat and lobbies against one another, whether or not they are qualified to do so. The process is very political. In most cases, the loudest voice always wins.

And therein lies the rub, underscoring how unorganized, unscientific, and naive some game of the year awards have become.

Continue reading at Sore Thumbs…

MSNBC: Best PSP games of 2008

My latest: “Three years after its release, and the PSP is still lacking games — most people use it to watch movies on the go. But a nice mix of sports, arcade, shoot-‘em-ups, creative and traditional titles have made their way to the handheld this year. Though all but one were released in the first half of 2008, these are the best PlayStation Portable games of the year.”

Continue reading at MSNBC…

GamePro news articles written by me

Whoever said video games are recession proof is a turd. I know because my GamePro invoicing and contributions were drastically cut two weeks ago as the outlet readies for the great advertising scare and depression apocalypse of 2009. It was the right thing for the company to do in an effort to stay lean, even if freelancers like myself and lowly employees suffer as a result.

In any case, I will no longer serve as news editor for the publication, something I’ve greatly enjoyed since taking the helm in July 2007. Instead, I will remain an editor at large, helping to expand the coverage of GamePro’s subsidiary sites. I will continue responding to “letters to the editor” along with the occasional game review and preview, but for the time being, I will no longer be writing news.

During my tenure as news editor, I wrote more than 1,000 news articles (a partial list which can be found here) and oversaw 2,000 published works. I also scooped some original stories, got cited in CNN, planned coverage for a team of three reporters, and edited lots of copy. For any interested, click to your hearts content, and let me know if any media outlets are looking for wordsmiths (wink, wink).

MSNBC: Top 5 best sleeper games of 2008

The big games this year are hard to miss: “Gears of War 2,” “Fallout 3,” “LittleBigPlanet,” “Guitar Hero.” But what about the low-profile ones that are just as good, if not better? The games that come out of nowhere to delight, inspire and surprise us?These are the best Cinderella games of 2008. If it’s the new and innovative you seek, don’t overlook these hidden gems.

Continue reading at MSNBC…

MSNBC: Top 5 most cinematic video games

Unplayable cut scenes, cinemas, or in-game movies have been a part of video games for more than 20 years. They help advance the plot, serve as a rest area for players and produce shock and awe like any good movie.

While the technique is evolving (some developers like Valve shun them altogether in favor of total interaction), cut scenes often make games feel bigger than they really are. And nobody does it better than the following games when it comes to memorable cinematics.

Continue reading at MSNBC…

MSNBC: New Xbox interface is more about movies

Microsoft says its “New Xbox Experience,” which rolls out Nov. 19, will “change the face of home entertainment for every Xbox 360 owner.” It doesn’t.

In reality, the New Xbox Experience is more appropriately described as a new menu system. It won’t revolutionize your console, but it will improve your experience. Ironically, the most interesting feature about this revamp to a game console’s user interface has nothing to do with games. It’s about movies.

Continue reading at MSNBC…